The Sunday Mail
Hunt for Greatness
I WOKE up today with a strange, nostalgic feeling.
I wanted to look at my old photographs. What a world of time travel I went through! There I was aged three, in my favourite shoes that I never wanted to take off even when I went to bed. Then I never imagined my feet would grow. My mother, now resigned to her status of grandmother, was a young elegant and fashionable woman. My late father in middle age looked fit and gigantic, while I was only knee high.
I never thought then I would grow and be as old or as tall as he was. Then we were living in squalour and photographs were a celebrated occasion that required special Sunday-best dressing, Parade-fame poses and some prop to touch or hold. I had no idea how my life would change and what I would become.
Life comes daily but does not all happen in one day.
I shuffled through few more photos and my eyes watered as I momentarily lived through the many incidents I had been through. I saw the many people that I have met, worked and lived with. There were the images of family, friends and colleagues. Then the special events of my life flashed past.
The moments of great joy and the teary and burdensome losses I have had. Then the moments that I wished I had taken more photos flashed through my mind. As each moment galloped past, at the time I thought each would return again, but alas never. I realised that my life has never been constant, only the passing of time has been the constant factor. The ordinary moments were extraordinary seasons etched forever on the sands of time. Every day I have been growing, aging, changing and moving somehow. Everyday has been building onto something whether I understood then or not. Everyday is either a start, stop but never a pause. You cannot press pause on the ever-marching time machine.
Every precious moment that I have is a special present to be lived fully. Every day is an opportunity for growth, enjoyment, improvement and development. If you are not growing, you are steadily decaying. If you are not getting better, you are likely growing bitter with each passing moment.
Whatever you do, do not stand still but grow daily.
Grow mentally: read, think, meditate, share and stretch your mind and boundaries.
Refuse to set so low a ceiling that you have so little headroom and you see your door step as the universe. You are only limited by your choices, but never your circumstances. Circumstances are the excuses that you use when you are operating in “victim mode”. Grow daily in order to see more expansively. A mind that is not stretching is becoming dull by the hour and is increasingly becoming a liability to the other minds that it interacts and works with.
When your mind is stuck in the past, you live in denial and boredom. Thinking in analogue terms in a digital world is self-defeating. If you are stuck in time you use too many resources to do the unnecessary. Read something every day. A day in which you have not opened a book is a wasted one. A mind needs daily stimulation to be in shape. Surf a few websites, send a tweet or two, read an interesting book, visit an exciting place, strike a conversation with a stranger, attend a conference, see the world differently.
There is so much to learn, so much to do and so little time to spend in purposeless grinds. Mental stagnation is a poor choice to make. You truly have shallow goals, small ambition and poor vision if you easily run out of things to do. If you dream small, you will see a tiny overcrowded world without space or opportunity.
This is an abundant world, filled with more possibilities that you have thought and more opportunities than can be digested. It all depends on where you are looking and what your eyes are glazing for. When you are through with growing, you are ready for burial and you make worthy museum material. Refuse to be buried alive in your despair and despondency.
Change is happening all the time even if you feel that your life has stopped. What you are seeing now is not what you will always see. Never let the challenges of today tempt you to think that you have arrived at journey’s end.
For those who see themselves as victims, they think someone is always moving their cheese to make their lives difficult. Whenever you blame anyone, you empower that person to control your life. Refuse to think, behave and talk like a victim. Songs of blame are too sorrowful for you to sing daily. People without personal change agendas will always find themselves traumatised and victimised. What could you change today? What can you do differently? Do not wait for everyone and everything to change before you step out and take action.
Do not wait all night for your song to be played before you decide to dance.
Forget your age and dance with life. Many people are waiting for huge monumental changes instead of starting the change process today, where they are and using what they have. Small changes lead to great destinations.
A small compass shift changes a ship’s destination. Small keys open great doors. Big doors swing on small hinges.
Never look down on the small actions that you take.
Momentum starts slowly, but it starts. Never be disappointed by the small attempts you take. When a ship or plane changes its course by just a degree, it changes its destination. Many people may not see the small steps that you are taking, but just wait; soon the invisible will be visible and the insignificant will be significant.
Change will always ultimately be noticed even if it is ignored or lampooned.
Small changes birth big transitions. Take action, do something. You cannot suspend your life waiting for yesterday’s terms in order to play today.
Play to the music of today, not the one you are wishing for.
If you do not see the future you will always abuse the present opportunities and waste the resources you have.
It does not matter how many ladders you have, if you do not stake them correctly they will never be enough.
A vision is not just a clever statement that is stuck at the lobby of a company. True vision is about the pictures that you see in your future. The dominant pictures that we carry in our minds, individually or collectively, are the essence of vision. Without clear vision you are blind. With blurred vision you hesitate. With blinkered vision you think your way is the only way and you are the only one.
All of us have these pictures of the future that pop into our minds, it is just that they are different and in some cases not crystallised. Some people carry negative, pitifully dull pictures. To live without vision is to live an empty life. Others carry tiny little pictures and others rub off quickly the pictures that come into their minds because they have given up on dreaming. Vision is a magnificent obsession that you choose to carry. When you embrace a vision, it will also embrace you.
Great people have great, big and bold pictures that are exciting and engaging. Weak pictures lead to weak execution and unmotivated action. Bold exciting visions, inspire and activate faith. Anyone who does not live by faith is simply accompanying others on the journey of life.
Nothing great can be accomplished without a burning faith — that substance of things hoped for, the title deed to things desired. Faith feeds on the pictures you carry. Carry your visions with you by crystallising them in the form of a goal, a visual, or affirmation.
Make them a magnificent obsession and a picture you are crazy about. Weak desires, just lead to uninspired action that lacks passion. Great visions are essential to all great achievements.
Pre-play your future and start the personal change process. Lean towards your vision daily. Picture your goals and crystallise them in your mind.
Shine bright lights onto your future stage. Live your future now by carrying it in your mind and seeing it manifested every day.
Never let the lean times tempt you to tear your pictures of the future. Never let adversity tempt you to commit suicide — that is a solution for weaklings that prefer to be cowards than to face life boldly and demand their share. There are more answers in life than there are questions.
Waiting can be a tiring occupation, especially when you cannot determine when what you are waiting for will come.
Never let you impatience cause you to do insane things. I am an advocate of patience, but not idle resigned-do-nothing-waiting. As you wait, take daily actions, some small and others big. Action keeps dreams alive and gives momentum to your thoughts. Speak to your dreams and let them hear you calling.
Do not wait in bed, wait dressed for action.
Do not wait for the baton stick in the dressing room, be in position and trot, fit and ready for action. Do do wait with closed doors and a closed mind, open your doors wide to the coming opportunity and never, ever give up so easily.
What action can you take today? What questions could you ask? What doors can you knock? What change can you make? Where can you go today? What have you been putting off that you must do right away? Act now.
You are only powerless if you think so. You are only clueless if you have come to that conclusion yourself. You are defeated only if you have accepted that silly verdict. Failure is never an end, but a beginning. You are finished, if you have so decided.
Never let your laziness finish you off because you were too tired to take action. It is all up to you. Your success and your greatness depend on you. You cannot blame anyone. You are where you are because of you. What you do, think and dream is prophetic of what you are becoming. Now is your time to fly towards your greatness.
Act now. Grow daily. Move fast.
Milton Kamwendo is a cutting-edge international transformational and inspirational speaker, author and coach. He is a strategy and innovation consultant and leadership coach. His life purpose is to inspire people to release the greatness trapped in them. He can be reached at [email protected] and on WhatsApp number 0772422634.